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Steatosis affects the performance of liver stiffness measurement for fibrosis assessment in patients with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C

  • Authors: Macaluso, F; Maida, M; Cammà, C; Cabibbo, G; Cabibi, D; Alduino, R; Di Marco, V; Craxì, A; Petta, S
  • Publication year: 2014
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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BACKGROUND & AIMS: In Chronic Hepatitis C (CHC), the influence of steatosis on liver stiffness measurement (LSM) is still debated. We assessed the impact of steatosis and its ultrasonographical sign - bright liver echo pattern (BLEP) - on LSM values and on transient elastography (TE) accuracy for the diagnosis of liver fibrosis, in a cohort of consecutive patients with Genotype 1 (G1) CHC. METHODS: Patients (n=618) were assessed by clinical, ultrasonographic and histological (Scheuer score) features. TE was performed using the M probe. RESULTS: Male gender (p=0.04), steatosis as continuous variable (p<0.001), severity of necroinflammation (p=0.02) and stage of fibrosis (p<0.001) were associated with LSM by multivariate linear regression analysis. Among patients within the same fibrosis stages (F0-F2 and F3-F4; F0-F3 and F4), mean LSM values, expressed in kPa, were significantly higher in subjects with moderate-severe steatosis (⩾20% at liver biopsy) compared with those without, as well as in patients with BLEP on US compared with their counterpart. In subjects without severe fibrosis (F0-F2) and without cirrhosis (F0-F3), a higher rate of false-positive LSM results was observed in patients with steatosis ⩾20% compared with those without (F0-F2: 35.3% vs. 17.9%; F0-F3: 38.9% vs. 16.6%), and in patients with BLEP on US (F0-F2: 28.0% vs. 18.3%; F0-F3: 29.7% vs. 17.8%) compared with their counterpart. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with G1 CHC, the presence of moderate-severe steatosis, detected by histology or by US, should always be taken into account in order to avoid overestimations of liver fibrosis assessed by TE.